Businesses have been facing a growing threat from data breaches, ransomware and supply chain weaknesses in recent years. According to the annual report of the National Cyber Security Centre, the number of cyber-attacks on UK businesses increased in the last year and is only expected to continue to rise.
Cybercrime is a very real issue that businesses today must address and protect themselves against, especially with the newly introduced General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that took effect in May this year. IT infrastructures and systems are continuing to grow and evolve rapidly and the more technology systems a company has, the more potential there is for a security breach.
Cybercriminals are continually finding new and innovative ways to hack IT systems and to keep your business safe; it is essential to stay one step ahead.
The growing cybercrime problem
Cybercrime among businesses is a growing issue, with almost half of UK firms being hit by a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months. Organisations of all sizes are under threat from cybercriminals, with firms that hold personal data the most likely to be a target for cybercrime. These cyber-attacks can come in many shapes and sizes, and cybercriminals are getting more intelligent in carrying out these attacks subtly and quickly.
The most common types of attack from the last 12 months were fraudulent emails, closely followed by viruses and malware. In 2017, The Cyber Security Breaches Survey identified that nearly seven in ten large businesses came under a security breach or attack during the year, and these attacks cost each firm an average of £20,000.
It is no secret that cybercriminals are targeting businesses across the UK on a daily basis, and this threat is continuing to grow. A serious security breach can not only be costly to a company but also have a significant impact on customer confidence, and many big brands have been hitting the headlines recently for being victims of massive data breaches. Dixons Carphone recently admitted a considerable data breach where 5.9 million customer bank cards and 1.2 million personal records were compromised, resulting in the most significant data breach ever in the UK.
GDPR and cybercrime
In May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect, in a bid to protect customers personal data and help individuals have more control over how and where their personal data is used and stored. The new regulations mean there are some drastic changes for businesses, as there is now a much higher level of responsibility for how customer data is stored and managed.
The main impact on businesses in the UK from GDPR is the vast fines that can be enforced should a data breach occur. Following a data breach, a firm can either be fined €20 million or 4 per cent of their global turnover, whichever is higher.
Compared with the previous fines, this is a considerable increase and could land a lot of small businesses in trouble should a data breach occur. In 2016 TalkTalk was fined £400,000 for a security breach that gave hackers access to their customer’s data, today that fine would have been a huge £59 million under GDPR.
With the risk of fines that are large enough to put many companies out of business and the increase in security attacks on businesses in recent years, it is more important than ever to make sure your data and security are safe and protected.
How to protect your business from cybercrime
In this day and age, no matter what size your business is or what industry you operate in, someone will try to steal your data, use your systems to spread viruses or hold your computers for ransom. Smaller companies are often considered better targets for cybercrime, because cybercriminals expect them to have weaker security systems in place, and they probably have a point.
Smaller businesses often have less money to spend on protecting themselves than their larger counterparts, but cybersecurity is a vital investment. It can be a struggle to know where to start, especially if you aren’t an expert in the IT. Technology systems are becoming increasingly complex, making protecting them from attackers ever more challenging.
Enlisting the help of an expert such as Cyan Solutions for your businesses computer and data security is beneficial and well worth the extra money involved. A professional in the field of cybersecurity will be top of the game and the first to know about new viruses and issues, giving them the ability to stay one step ahead of the cybercriminals and implement security patches before a breach has the chance to occur.
It is also vital to remember that under GDPR you are also responsible for how all your chosen suppliers and providers handle your customer’s data. When employing third-party companies to run systems or software for you, be sure to understand exactly how they are working to protect themselves from cybercrime. You could have the best cybersecurity in the world, and if one of your external suppliers doesn’t keep the same standard, you can still be at risk of a cyber attack or data breach.
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